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2012 Casa Silva Carmenere 

Colchagua Valley, Chile

Retail $17

One of Chile's most vibrant viticultural areas, Colchagua Valley, produces some of its finest wines. Located 110 miles south of Santiago, the valley is situated in the southernmost part of the larger Rapel Valley. The Silva family pioneered winemaking in the valley more than 120 years ago. The vineyards bask in summer sunlight and the Pacific Ocean's chilly breezes cool the vines, and red grapes thrive in these fluctuating temperatures. At an elevation of 1,500 feet, 14-year-old carmenere vines are planted in alluvial clay, sand and decomposed granite soils. Following harvest, the grapes were destemmed and cold soaked in stainless steel tanks for eight days followed by another eight days of fermentation. Eighty percent of the wine was aged in oak for 12-18 months before blending. The wine offers aromas of ripened wild berries, wood, spice notes and cassis. On the palate, taste blackberry, plum, cherry and hints of black pepper with fine-grained tannins on the lingering finish. Decant 20 minutes before serving. Drink it with meatballs, rack of lamb, veal cheeks, pork loin and steak. Buy it at: Second Vine Wine and Martin Wine Cellar in Metairie and Mandeville. Drink it at: Emeril's New Orleans.

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